The Plaza, San Juan, Puerto Rico. no. 54082.

The Plaza, San Juan, Puerto Rico. no. 54082.

ASTR-TLA Annual Conference/TLA Call for Papers

American Society for Theatre Research
November 11-15, 2009

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Theatre, Performance, and DestiNation

Theatre Library Association Plenary
Call for Papers

“Playing” the Pilgrim:  Scholars, Collections, and Archival DestiNations


Performing arts archives and special collections are a destination for artifacts and ephemera – as well as for the artists and scholars who experience them.  The research process is a journey undertaken for diverse purposes and outcomes.  This panel poses an investigation of the kind of “play” that occurs between archive and destination, research and journey, and the scholar-pilgrim-voyeur.

Proposals may consider the following questions:

•       How does a performance undertake the journey from ephemeral cultural expression to tangible archival evidence?  How do archives and special collections serve as destinations for performances?

•       What is involved when a performing arts archive or collection travels from its place of origin to a new repository, or across repositories in different geopolitical regions?  What does it mean for a collection to come “home?”

•       What challenges are presented to archives and special collections when theatre itself “travels” (as when it tours), becoming, in effect, a moveable destination?

•       How does research travel to archives and special collections negotiate the tension between pilgrimage and voyeuristic consumption?  In what ways does research travel become performative?

•       How do libraries and archives participate as sites of privileged viewing and local experience?  How do special collections engage issues of privacy or stage themselves to an audience?

•       Are theatre archives and special collections themselves an “island?”  How do they reflect or reinvent “island culture?”  Are they tied to the mainland of performance practices or archival methodologies?  How do theatre archives and performing arts collections “travel” across these boundaries?

Please submit one-page Proposal by February 1, 2009 to:

Colleen Reilly

Chair, TLA Plenary

Arts Library, Yale University

Colleen.Reilly@yale.edu

Image credit: Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Image ID 1037089

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